1224: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Eight, Part FivePosted: October 31, 2015
Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Author: Stone-Man85 – and N’jata by proxy.
Topic: Princess Mononoke
URL: Chapter 8
Critiqued by SC, Fox, and Sir Paulo Rori
Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and last time, we had a super short riff where not a lot really happened. This time, the riff is gonna be LOOOOONG, because I plan to finish this chapter this week, so be prepared for a long read.
But before that, of course, I have to welcome Sir Paulo Rori –
Paulo: Good day to you.
– And my other guest for this week, an OC of mine named Fox!
Fox is an interesting character, actually. He’s one of those characters that I, for some reason, can’t write a story without including. William is another one, I can’t write a story without a William somewhere. There’s a William in my previous NaNo story, there’s going to be a Fox in my current NaNo story, and the both of them also exist as protagonists of their own separate stories in a little series I’m working on on the side for funsies. It’s kind of like Link and Zelda: invariably, there will always be both of them in every Zelda game. Or Cid, from Final Fantasy: gotta have one.
They have their own standard personality expectations like Link and Zelda, too. William is almost always going to be a super serious, seasoned fighter who doesn’t have the time of day to joke around, save for one instance where he was actually very personable and friendly and had a healthy sense of humor; and Fox is always going to be a crafty son of a bitch who has all the dirt on everybody, even when they think they have it properly buried, and who nobody can seem to kill, no matter how or what they try…
Fox: Hell yeah!
…Except for this Fox, who’s an absolute moron –
Fox: Wha-?! HEY!
– and basically only lives up to his name in regards to the craftiness, because he successfully stole the sword Vysek, which does most of the fighting for him, from a place that he shouldn’t have been able to get into without invitation from the occupants, and because he manages to bumble himself out of whatever problem he initially bumbled himself into before anything bad happens.
Fox: Now, that is not true! I have a wide selection of skills that… I…
*Fox falls silent and blinks once at SC’s and Paulo’s disbelieving stares*
Fox: …Yeah, okay, I’m actually kind of bad at this “Fox” thing.
The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one, buddy.
Anyhow, that’s this particular iteration of Fox. In fairness to him, he does also retain a lot of the skill and cunning of his same-named brethren, but his dumbassery tends to stand out more. I wonder who that reminds me of. (*cough*Contacts*cough*)
With that out of the way, let’s get to the riff. I intend to finish this chapter this week, God damn it, so be prepared for a lot of pain.
Fox: You mean more than I usually end up suffering?
Fox: Ah hell.
When he found Isaac he saw that he was crouched beside the sprawled out form a man dressed in a bright, orange tunic who was half submerged in the water.
I was about to jump on this for being wrong, but it turns out that Eboshi’s entire friggin’ convoy wore orange, so I’ll let it slide.
The man’s face was twisted in a gaping expression of anguish while his eyes remained shut. Because he was so far away, it was impossible for Alex to tell whether the man was just unconscious or…
Paulo: If I read that correctly, his mouth is hanging open in pain while his eyes are shut. That is not an expression a dead man is known for making, as it requires muscle usage that the deceased simply do not have. And I highly doubt that rigor mortis set in quickly enough to freeze his face in such a gruesome manner. I feel as though he is alive, and either his jaw is broken, or he is attempting a ploy.
Or he came straight out of a Junji Ito story. Guy rather enjoys the slack-jawed terror expressions, I’ve discovered.
Fox: Guy could have also been turned to stone.
Right, because fucking Medusa is just hanging out in northwestern Honshu, sure.
He shook his head as he pushed the second half of the tough out of his mind,
Mob’s not gonna be too happy about you ripping one of their toughs in half.
Fox: But on the other hand: they probably deserved it.
and rushed towards the motionless figure.
Get ready for some awesome medical procedure, people.
Crouching on one knee, the youth gently slapped the man’s face. “Hey,” he said, “You okay, man?” He slapped his face again, then placed his hand just an inch above the man’s gaping mouth.
Paulo: Yes, because of course, the most logical course of action when ascertaining the damages of a wounded individual include not properly stabilizing them, slapping them repeatedly in the face regardless of possible neck injury, and checking for breath but not for pulse. Truly, Alex is a forerunner amongst the brilliant medicinal minds of our world.
Fox: You have to give me that one, too: at least I know how first aid works.
Yeah, funnily enough, Alex claims the same thing, and yet I’ve not seen one example of good medical practice by him. I took a first aid crash course that lasted about a month back when I was in the seventh grade, so my license is long since expired, and I can tell already that I’m still far more qualified for administering medical treatment than Alex will ever be.
A relieved smile spread across Nathan’s face when he felt breath against his skin.
*SC smacks a buzzer*
Hi, Nathan!: 7
Hey, he’s alive!” he exclaimed shooting Isaac a wide grin. He’s actually alive!
Paulo: Yes yes, that is all quite well and good, now would you care to treat the poor man’s injuries before they become any worse from exposure to the elements?
He slung the man’s limp arm over his shoulder and pulled him from the muddy water.
Oh, so we’re still not gonna keep the head steady in case the guy suffered some sort of trauma to the skull or neck? Okay, sure, that’s cool. Now he’s dead for real. Good job, Alex.
“Well, that’s a pleasant surprise,” Isaac replied, “But what do we do with him?”
Fox: Patch him up, put him by a campfire, get him some food, keep him awake in case he has a concussion, try and see if he knows anything about getting where you need to go… I can’t believe you even asked that question, Isaac.
“We’ll have to treat his wounds, and when/if we get to Iron Town, we’ll leave him to their doctors,” Alex answered as he helped the man to shore.
Wow, Stone-Man85, do you realize how lazy that is, using a forward-slash instead of writing the word “and?” That’s not good writing. That’s not good writing at all. It’s disgusting how little you actually seem to give a shit about the quality of your work.
As soon as he laid the unconscious person down on the warm, flat rocks,
It’s almost night, if I recall correctly, and it’s been raining off and on all day. Those rocks aren’t warm, they’re fucking freezing and soaked. Sure, let’s give this guy more hypothermia than what he possibly already has, good idea, Alex.
the young outlander looked up and saw Isaac standing over yet another still figure that was bobbing limply among the rapids. Like the one before, Alex rushed to the injured man’s aid. As he fished him out of the water, he was given a much clearer view of the man’s appearance. Unlike the first man, who was fairly well built with a solid frame, this one was lanky and looked frail enough to snap like a twig. It was only then that the youth realized that the man had been thrashed around quite badly. When Alex examined him, he noticed that his right arm was fractured just below the elbow, and his leg was broken and a few of his ribs were cracked.
He’s had a bad day.
Paulo: One of those cases where I can imagine that they wish magical healing spells existed in their world as they do in mine.
“I’m not exactly sure what happened to you, Mister,” Alex said, slinging the dazed man’s good arm over his shoulder. “But you and your friend are both lucky to be still breathing.”
Fox: Actually, I think the broken ribs guy would rather be dead.
Yeah, ever had a broken rib, Alex? Not pleasant for breathing purposes. I haven’t had a broken rib myself, but I’ve seen what it looks like, so I can verify that.
Paulo: I have had my entire ribcage shattered from the impact of a war hammer, and can confirm that it is very uncomfortable. Not to mention life-threatening.
Fox: How are you still alive?
Paulo: Remember those magical healing spells I mentioned? Their primary use is for injuries greater than what stitches, bandages, splints and other conventional what-have-you can fix in the moment. For example: me having my entire ribcage shattered by the impact of a war hammer.
Fox: Oh, right, of course. I should have known that.
Come on, Fox, get your head in the game.
He carefully dragged him over to where he had left the first injured and laid him against a rock.
“Well, this certainly is an interesting twist,” he said and combed his fingers through his dark hair.
Once again, I have managed to forget that Alex has black hair.
Fox: He does? Ah shit, now I need to change my hair color.
It’s just hair color, dude, what’s the problem with that?
Fox: I don’t want to share anything in common with this idiot.
Well, you’re gonna have to shape up like your fellow Fox brethren, then, because you being a bumbling idiot is something else you and Alex have in common.
When he looked back at the rushing water he saw something he hadn’t noticed earlier. It was a thin stream of red that flowed through the water like a separate river. Though it was faint, the youth had absolutely no troubled recognizing what it was.
Ketchup. My God.
Paulo: I would have many troubled with this revelation.
“Blood,” he said quietly, “And it’s coming from up there.” He looked down at Isaac who returned the look. “Stay here,” he told the small animal and began to climb the rocks and roots.
“Ah, don’t worry, Alex,” Isaac mumbled, feeling a little fearful of the blood that he saw, and where it might’ve come from. But then he picked up the scent of the blood, and then went wide eyed, almost recognizing the scent, “But then again…”
Hey, you wanna see my psychic powers?
Fox: You have psychic powers? I’m not even a proper Fox compared to the others and I can tell you’re bullshitting me.
No no no, watch: Alex is gonna stumble across San, Moro and the other two wolves, and he’s gonna get caught with his jaw hanging open about how hawt San is. And it’s going to take like the whole rest of the chapter.
Paulo: You are correct in assuming trickery, Fox. The only reason he knows this is because he read further ahead before he started the riff.
Man, fuck you! I was gonna look cool!
Fox: No you weren’t.
I was gonna look cool in my mind!
I’m not really sure we needed the location tag for Alex being on the other side of the stream.
When Alex reached the top of the small slope he quietly crept along the rough surface of a fallen tree until he was at the roots. He pressed his back against the tree’s thick trunk and repeatedly asked himself whether or not he really wanted to find out what was on the other side ‘Might as well,‘ he told himself. ‘I’ve already gone this far.‘
Considering what’s on the other side, that’s kind of like asking yourself whether taking arsenic is a good idea and then being all, “well, I’m already here, so whatever.”
Taking a deep breath, the youth crouched low and peered through the spaces between the roots. What he found almost caused him to jump back.
On the other side of the wide stream, lying motionlessly on its side was what Alex could only describe as the most enormous wolf had ever seen in his life. It must have been bigger than a the pickup-truck, if not bigger.
Looking at Moro, I’d put her maybe at about the size of a typical mom van.
Paulo: Or, for a more period-accurate comparison, a supply carriage.
Yeah, like the convoy she fucked up.
Its head alone was probably longer than he was tall, which meant that it would have no trouble snapping and swallowing him up in a single bite.
Uh, no. Yes, Moro is big, but one bite is impossible.
First thing’s first, a wolf skull – no matter how big – is actually very slim and narrow. I can’t say for myself why this is, because I’m not really well-versed in anatomical evolution based on habits of living, but I assume it’s to do with precision when clamping down on prey, to a point. More educated individuals can probably supplement missing information.
[And they did! According to Lyle, our resident zoologist, wolf skulls – canine skulls of almost any kind, really – are designed as they are for aerodynamics and easier breathing. Also precision for going after jugulars and the like, as I thought. I bet scent has a lot to do with it too, a nose like that probably has more time to process a scent before the information hits the brain due to the length of the nasal cavity. -SC]
[Why are you in my editing booth? -Book Specs]
[I’m sorry, I’ll just go. -SC]
Secondly, Moro, as we’ve established, is only about as big as a minivan – maybe.
Third, look at San. She’s canonically YOUNGER than Alex, and you can tell from one close-up that if Moro tried to kill her, she’d get maybe to her abdomen in one go. If she weren’t worried about choking, maybe she could clamp down to San’s waist. But, the fact remains: it would take more than one go.
But I’m sure Moro would appreciate the compliment. You know, if you weren’t a filthy human.
Though the gargantuan beast’s size was enough to terrify Alex into the afterlife,
Really? You couldn’t just write that it scared him to death? Really? Pretentious writing is not good writing, Stone-Man85.
he found that he was unable stop gazing at the brilliant white fur that covered its entire body.
Fox: Yeah, it’s not like it’s the only notable feature about her or anything.
Well, apart from her being huge for a wolf.
Paulo: And possessing sentience beyond that of a regular animal.
As he continued to look at the creature, he realized that it had two tails.
…Actually, yeah, she does.
Fox: Wait, he got something right for once?
Yep. Although, really, Moro is a big wolf, they don’t tend to have many standout details about them, so her being able to talk and having two tails would be pretty easy to notice.
[But, in fairness, he had initially planned to call Stone-Man85 out for being an idiot until he discovered via Lyle that Stone-Man85 was actually not, at least here, so let that stand to reason that sometimes, your Librarians can get things wrong, too. -Book Specs]
‘That’s just weird,‘ Alex said to himself. ‘It’s like something you’d find on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.‘
Okay, Alex said this to himself, so I’m gonna let this one go.
Paulo: Might I ask what Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is?
Oh, it’s this group who go around and document all the strange and borderline unbelievable stories, pictures, events and other what-have-you that often find their way into urban legend. Hence the title, “Believe It Or Not.” They publish books pretty frequently, and it’s a pretty interesting read if you don’t mind the occasional creepy image or two. It’s best paired with TV shows like Oddities, to boot.
It’s a documentary about this shop by the same name who deal in creepy, often unsanitary objects from ages past and present. There’s usually an equally unsettling backstory to go with the items that customers bring in or purchase. There was an episode about early 20th century dental equipment that looked like they would find better use in a Hannibal Lecter novel.
Paulo: Somewhat disturbingly, a medic in my platoon was quite intrigued by such “oddities” himself. As I recall, he works as an investigative coroner for the city watch now.
This might sound weird to you, but I actually find the more gory parts of forensics investigations and surgical procedures to be interesting. What of them they feel comfortable showing on TV, anyhow.
Paulo: That is mildly concerning, yes.
Fox: Not to me. My dad was a mortician. I saw dead bodies all the time.
Paulo: Yes, and my chosen occupation forced me to create dead bodies or become one, so I shall never be comfortable around the topic.
It was then that Alex realized that the blood he had seen flowing down the current had been draining from a large gash in the wolf’s neck.
Yeah, neck wounds are unpleasant, to say the least.
When his eyes settled on the gaping wound he couldn’t help be cringe.
How does one be a cringe?
Fox: I imagine your body kind of resembles an accordion.
Paulo: Sadly, it would likely lack the musical properties of one.
Well, sometimes you just can’t have it all.
Fox: Yeah, I’m kind of bummed that my ass isn’t a trumpet.
*SC sputters and is overtaken by laughter*
Paulo: Dare I inquire as to why this disheartens you?
Fox: Because if my ass was a trumpet, every fart would be a musical number!
*Paulo fails to maintain his composure and laughs into his hand*
In truth, he had wanted to go over there and help the poor creature, but he also knew that the second he got over there, it’d bite him in half, just like in Jurassic Park.
Well, maybe not in half, but Moro would certainly rip you a new one if you tried to touch her.
Two more wolves suddenly appeared from out of the forest. Though these two newcomers were not nearly as big as the one lying on the ground, they were still very large. As Alex continued to watch the scene unfold he spotted a small fur-clothed figure clinging to the back of one the silvery wolves, riding it as though she were riding a horse.
And you somehow immediately knew San was a girl, despite that she’s wearing a mask and a large fur cloak, and that I’m pretty sure your little hidey-hole is the same one Ashitaka used, and the vantage point should have made it difficult to tell San’s gender at first glance? Wow, Alex, who’s your optometrist? They deserve a raise.
With one fluid movement, the figure leapt from the wolf’s back and landed gracefully on the ground. As she stood up, Alex saw that the figure was in fact a beautiful young girl, probably not much older than he was.
Remember, Stone-Man85 is still under the impression that San is eighteen, when in fact, she’s fifteen canonically.
Fox: I mean, I know it’s only a difference of three years, but that’s plenty of time for changes to happen. How the hell did he screw that up?
If you’re asking that now, prepare to continue asking that for a long time.
She was dressed in a tattered white blouse that fell over an equally tattered blue dress. Excepted for the thin leather bands that were looped around each of her biceps, the girl’s arms were completely uncovered.
I swear, every riff, it seems like Stone-Man85’s grasp of the English language grows steadily worse and worse.
From his very first glimpse of her, Alex could see the strength, and agility that existed within the girl’s slender yet powerfully built body. When his eyes rose to where the soft oval of her face rested above her thin neck, they were instantly lost with her loveliness. It was a face that looked as though it had been carved from the purest block of porcelain by the most skilled hands. Two thin eyebrows lined the skin above a pair of large eyes of the darkest brown, while a thin upturned nose poked out over a small full-lipped mouth. But the most fascinating features were the three triangular tattoos of red that marked her cheeks and forehead. Her dark, ebony hair, cut just below her neck line, was crowned with a single ornamental band with a white jewel in the center.
Honestly, if Stone-Man85 sang San’s praises any harder, he’d have his face squarely planted in her ass. She’s pleasing to the eye, but she’s not a fucking runway model, dammit.
From the polished bone jewelry that dangled from her ears and round her neck to the fur cloak that was draped over her back, to the three red marks on her face, the girl possessed a frightening yet incredibly serene aura about her.
Just watched her mother get shot, punched a bunch, launched off a cliff, and is now looking at her bleeding out on the ground; all this on the heels of a failed ambush that denied her the death of her worst enemy.
Yeah, that’s totally the aura a pissed off, grief-stricken, horrified young woman would exude. Absolutely.
Fox: Why, they would be the picture of grace: faces red like tomatoes, bloodshot eyes, tears and snot everywhere, hair an absolute mess, shaking like a leaf, barely avoiding killing someone…
*SC smacks the buzzer*
Hi, Nathan!: 8
watched her quickly make her way towards the bigger wolf which was now propping itself up on its front paws, he decided then and there, that this mysterious girl was the true embodiment of feminine beauty.
Paulo: Oh, for goodness’ sake…
He’s still not done kissing her ass, huh? If anybody’s feeling queasy, there’s barf bags by the door.
‘Wow,‘ Alex thought, ‘… she’s like a forest angel…‘
I’m pretty sure nobody would agree with you, pal. Even those who support her see her more as a demon! Of course, all you’ve been doing is kissing her ass, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you think this way!
That was until she did the unthinkable.
To Alex’s complete and utter dismay, the girl pressed her face into the monstrous white wolf’s gaping wound and began to suck out the infected blood. When her mouth could hold no more blood, she turned to the side and spat it out like water from a squirt gun.
…It’s unthinkable that someone Alex thinks is some kind of angel would do what I presume any (good) angel would do and try to help someone or something in need? Because that’s what San’s doing, jackass. That’s actually a very common way of extracting poison from an open wound, for lack of an antidote.
Oh, more than that, it DISMAYS HIM. I guess in Alex’s world, girls don’t ever get their faces dirty for any reason, even if it meant saving a life.
Paulo: I assume we all know by now that Alex would make a disgraceful romantic partner?
Fox: I’m picking it up pretty quickly.
‘Holy Crap!‘ the dark haired youth exclaimed silently
Look at that impossible thing Alex just did. Look at it, and let your revulsion fly free.
as he watched the girl continue to repeat the process of sucking out the blood and spitting it onto the ground over and over, until he felt the muscles in his stomach beginning to churn.
Remember: Alex is the son of a doctor, the nephew of a veteran, and claims to be knowledgeable of medical practices, which indicates that he’s possibly seen worse before.
Fox: And he’s losing his composure over a process that honestly isn’t half as bad as they can get. Yeah, right. He must only “know medical procedures” from books.
Movies. Even books are less bullshitty with their medical practices.
‘Though that’s a good idea; sucking up the infected blood before it causes infection,‘
Paulo: I always have myself a pleasant little chuckle at Alex’s attempts to redeem himself by doubling back on a previous action and speaking to the contrary, as if he believes that will boost his intelligence in the eyes of the audience.
It’s adorable, really.
but as he saw her suck up another batch and spit it out, he hunched over, about to vomit, ‘I think I’m going to be sick!‘
Suddenly, as though he had been struck by a bolt of lightning that had been hurled from the heavens above, the terrifying realization seeped into Alex’s head. If the rumors he had heard during his travels were as accurate as their tellers had promised them to be, then that giant wolf who was wounded in the neck was in fact the feared Wolf-God, Moro. When he thought about it for a moment, it all seemed to make perfect sense. ‘Well she’s certainly large enough to fit the description,‘ he thought to himself and let his eyes return their attention to the girl.
That was when the second realization struck him. As he stared at the girl while she cleaned the wound in Moro’s neck, a single name coursed through his mind. A name that was shrouded in the dark shadows of mystery and the terrifying rumors of passing travelers. ‘If that’s the Wolf-God Moro… than that girl is… she’s…she’s the.…‘
He felt the tiny hairs on his neck begin to stand on end, and without even thinking about what he was doing whispered the name. A name which had followed him across the face of Japan as well as through the fabric of time. “…Princess Mononoke.”
Let me just put this all into perspective for you: Alex first heard the tale of Princess Mononoke in chapter one from his aunt. Him not believing it then was understandable, because he was still in his own time. He landed in Muromachi Japan back in chapter two, and it took him until chapter three to figure out that he had gone back in time. Since then, people have been warning him about the Princess Mononoke for up until the end of chapter seven. We’re coming up near the end of chapter eight. He’s finally realizing that the people who were warning him weren’t full of shit.
IT TOOK ALEX FIVE GOD DAMN CHAPTERS FROM THE TIME HE LANDED IN THE PAST TO FINALLY WISE UP.
I don’t think I need to tell people just how ridiculous that is.
It was only when he said the name that he realized his mistake.
Moro’s elongated head looked in his direction.
Fox: I can’t read “elongated head” without thinking of something gross.
You and me both. Stone-Man85 needs to stop thumping his thesaurus.
When her vicious eyes locked with his, she began to growl, causing her fur covered maw to wrinkle.
Because we really need to be told what it looks like when a wolf growls. I’m pretty sure anybody who owns a dog can take a good guess, they all growl the same way for the most part.
As Alex watched the giant God continue to growl at him, he suddenly remembered the warning that Jigo and Isaac had given him: to enter these forests meant certain death.
Here’s hoping. The little asshole’s been skirting by so far.
‘I’m in trouble… deep….‘
The girl suddenly looked over her shoulder and shot Alex the most blood chilling glare. Her face was now covered in blood as were her hands and clothing. She stood and spat out her last mouthful of blood, still staring into Alex’s eyes.
‘Oh, crap!‘ with a forceful jerk, the young outlander darted out of both the girl and the God’s line of vision. He leaned heavily against the curved side of the fallen tree and pressed his hands against his mouth, hoping it would muffle the sound of his breathing.
Fox: Bit late for that, stupid, they already saw you.
You would never make a proper Fox, Alex.
Fox: And I barely count for one, so what’s that tell you about the level of prerequisite?
Paulo: That the Fox Clan is very demanding of their members?
“The Fox Clan.” That’s a good one, I never really thought of them like that.
Fox: Considering how many of us are actually members of Clans, I’m shocked to hear you admit that.
Though he knew very well that he was wasting his time, he hoped and prayed that the four forest dwellers had not seen him. He gulped as he thought wishful thinking,
You know, as opposed to singing wishful thinking.
Fox: ♪Oh pleeeaaase, let them not have fucking seen meeeee~♪
Don’t ever sing again.
Paulo: I fear my teeth may have shattered…
‘Maybe they didn’t notice. Maybe this cloak will hide my scent and they’ll…‘
Those hopes and prayers were shattered when the girl called out to him.
“I know you’re there, human!” she shouted, causing Alex to ‘gulp and shrink back behind the logs, “So you might as well just show yourself!”
Paulo: Well, he tried.
To what effect, though?
“There aren’t any humans out here!” the youth shouted back, without considering what he was saying, “Nope! No humans; just us talking cicadas.”
*Collective silence in the riffing chamber*
Fox: …I can almost hear my fellow Foxes crying out in disgust.
I want to start sobbing so badly, but my body refuses to react to my emotions because my brain doesn’t know what to think of this.
Paulo: I do not even have a proper war story to respond with.
The girl raised an eyebrow as she asked herself, “Does he really believe that’s going to even work?”
I don’t know how I’m agreeing with Sannabe, of all people, but I’m agreeing with her. Did Alex even stop to thi- oh, what the hell am I even asking, he obviously didn’t.
There was a brief pause before the girl’s anger returned and she continued, “You either show yourself, human, or my brothers will drag you out like the spineless coward you are!”
Oh, I think we’ve sunk lower than mere spinelessness, m’dear.
Alex frowned and though quickly. ‘Okay, then… I either throw myself out into the open and risk being eaten by three VERY big wolves, one of which just happens to be a God… or, I sit here and wait for those wolves to drag me out and get eaten anyway.‘
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Fox: Either way, you’re fucked, and that’s all good by me.
He considered his options… very quickly and carefully, ‘I think I’ll go with the first choice.‘
“I’m waiting, human,” The girl said the word ‘human’ as though she were spitting venom.
Sannabe is a busy woman with many important things to do, guys.
Paulo: Her schedule is very tight today, she cannot afford to wait around for filthy humans to die on their own terms.
“Alright, you win!” Alex retorted, “I’ll show myself. Just keep Cujo and Balto over there away from me! Except for you, they’re makin’ me nervous!”
I’m amazed “Cujo” and “Balto” didn’t rip him apart for that alone.
Fox: If he popped off with a line like that around the other Foxes, he’d have hell to pay.
“Don’t you dare give me orders, human!” the girl snapped back ferociously, “Be thankful if I let you walk away from here with all your limbs. Don’t think for one minute that I won’t hesitate to kill you where you stand!”
Now if any of the Specs and Co. were in this same situation, I guarantee you they’d scoff and start mocking Sannabe with their immortality. On the kids’ side of things, Grey and Cas might pop off with a shit-faced remark or two as well, but that’s because they possess their mother and father’s inability to give a fuck.
Fox: Immortality must be nice for them to have.
Not really. They had to get killed to become immortal in the first place, and now they just die all the time.
[The stupid ones of us, in any event. -Book Specs]
“Alright, alright! You don’t have to get miffed about it,” Alex muttered under his breath and proceeded to scramble over the fallen tree.
Paulo: I hardly believe “miffed” is the full extent of her hatred at the moment.
Yeah, no, with Sannabe, it goes zero to fuck everything, real quick. Canon San is a touch more reasonable, though.
When he finally reached the top he stood and pushed his mask up his up onto his forehead.
Uh, excuse me? When did Alex get a mask? It hasn’t been that long since I riffed the previous chapters, I think I would have spotted it somewhere that he picked up a mask.
Paulo: Could this, by chance, be another instance wherein the author copied the written word of the story he is plagiarizing and never thought to edit out the similarities?
Well, let me check.
~MANY SOURCE COMPARISONS LATER~
Right, so it looks like in the ripped-off fic, Nathan comes across a wandering group of Bugaku actors in his travels, and he manages to convince them that he’s an actor himself, so they bring him to their mask-maker and get him outfitted with one of his own. Alex never runs across any such thing in this fic, and as such, he never receives a mask at any point up to this riff. So, yeah, Stone-Man85 just basically lifted this whole scene without hardly changing anything.
And since this is a thing that directly relates to Nathan, even if his name didn’t get dropped here…
*SC smacks the buzzer*
Hi, Nathan!: 9
Oh, and fun fact: while I was going through N’jata’s fic to find the problem with this riff, I started having some real déjà vú. I knew Stone-Man85 had basically plagiarized this fic, but I thought that he would lift maybe a paragraph or two at a time, or copy an idea but put his own spin on it, and that the rest was all him, so I was blaming a lot of stuff that happened so far as his work.
No. It’s not. It’s honest to God not.
Almost EVERYTHING that has happened so far, near-verbatim, was done by N’jata. Stone-Man85 just stole it as it was, changed a few names, added or took out a few characters, and called it his.
So, the whole damn riff up to now has been me riffing Stone-Man85, and unknowingly, N’jata as well.
Fox: Wow. Even I’m not that shitty at what I do.
Seriously. I think I get why Stone-Man85 blew off my critiques now – most of what I called him on wasn’t his doing, so in his mind, he didn’t have to give a shit. I could have just riffed N’jata and had about the same experience. Although, I guess it’s good that I’m not riffing him – yes, his work isn’t what I’d call stellar, and probably in an alternate universe I would have riffed him, but at least he cares about it, and at least he’s not a fucking thief like Stone-Man85.
He looked down at the girl, and found himself lost in her glaring visage. Her narrowed eyes were sharp enough to pierce through his own and channel deep into the core of his mind.
Paulo: Or rather, Nathan’s mind, that he claims as his own.
It was then that Alex realized that he was not looking into the face of a beautiful girl, but the face of the vicious Princess Mononoke.
According to how this story has been progressing so far for NathAlex, that should register as the same thing.
San studied the strange looking human from head to toe. While her piercing eyes absorbed his every detail the young wolf-girl felt a small sense of wonder pass over her. Never in her life has she seen a human like this. From his oddly shaped shoes and his fabric armor, to the strange jewelry he had around his neck and on his left ear, the human bore absolutely no resemblance to any other human she ever had seen before. When she studied roundish contours of his fair skinned face she suddenly realized that he was not of this land. Which meant that he was not of the Iron Town Clan.
And you’d think that would get him off the hook, because her biggest beef is with Irontown (specifically, Eboshi), but no, apparently this version of San and Moro are genocidal as opposed to simply bearing a heavy grudge.
You’ll see what I mean, don’t worry.
But never-the-less, the boy was still a human, and San detested humans,
There’s one instance. Again, we can assume that humans, by movie San’s definition, refer only to the ones she knows of in Japan, and odds are, if she saw other humans elsewhere in the world, she’d have a pretty big crisis of faith upon discovering that they’re not all inherently villainous beings. But in this fic? She clearly has an idea that there are other lands beyond Japan; the text says that much. So her definition of humans here is quite a bit more broadened, which indicates that she’s developed a sort of Adolf Hitler mindset about killing humans – “don’t just kill the ones who gave me a reason to hate them, we need to kill ALL OF THEM, including the innocent ones, because I believe their entire existence to be a blight on the world.”
We’ll see what Moro’s deal is later.
“What are you doing in this forest?” she hissed, “Tell me, now while you’re still alive!”
“Ummm…well… I…uhhhh…” The human stammered for a moment before he was finally able to articulate his words. “I was told that this forest was the home of the forest spirit… uh…um… what’s his name again?” He rubbed his hand over his sweaty face and snapped his fingers nervously. It was obvious that his fear was clouding his memory, “Shi… Shisha… Shisha-a-a-a, you who I’m talking about. He’s the guy who can escape any trap… makes a llama disappear in a box… can perform card tricks and do all those cool things with a white tiger,” he shook his head, realizing that was completely different, “No, wait. Those are the wrong guys.”
To clarify: Shishigami is not a street magician, escape artist, or wild animal tamer.
Fox: Oh good, I was starting to wonder if the patron spirit of the forest had taken up some side-hobby as a circus performer.
Your sarcasm can be scathing when you want it to be.
‘Is this human some sort of lunatic?‘ San asked herself looking at the young outlander with a raised eyebrow. ‘… or is he just a complete idiot?‘
Honestly, it’s both, so take your pick.
Paulo: And thank you for voicing our collective thoughts.
Fox: Nope, that’s not his name.
To the entire city of Chicago, Illinois: I apologize for you being dragged into this.
Fun fact: Shikesha is an accidental misspelling of Shiksha, which is one of the six Vedanga of Hinduism – Vedanga meaning auxiliary discipline. Shiksha, specifically, focuses on the phonetics, phonology, and morphology of Sanskrit. Hinduism supports the evolution of language, kids!
Fox: Was he trying to write Shish Kabob, by any chance?
Probably. And by the way, making Shishigami into a delicious meat skewer is, shockingly, not a good way to get on San and Moro’s good side.
Paulo: Surprise, surprise.
I know, right? Who’d have thunk it!
Shisha Gami! he shouted, finally able to remember the right name, “That’s him; that’s the one!
Nope, still wrong.
Fox: No prize for you, kid.
I’m here in search of the great Shisha Gami. Because he can perform miracles and.…” The idiotic expression melted away from his face, leaving nothing but a sullen frown, as he became serious to her, “…and because I need his help. He might be the only one who can help me.”
After hearing that this human wanted to see the Great Forest Spirit, San’s anger seemed to return as she glared at Alex, “You’re here to kill him, aren’t you,” San replied, clenching her blood-stained fists into tight balls, “Just like all the other human’s who have sought him out.”
If this were the Specs and Co., Contacts or Shades would have piped up with something along the lines of, “Did we fucking SAY that we were gonna kill him ANYWHERE in our response? Don’t put words in our mouths, dammit.”
Paulo: Are they truly so calm in the face of danger?
Well, yeah. I mean, death means nothing to them, so they don’t really have any reason to care if they’re in danger or not. It’s more annoying than anything else to them.
“Kill him?” the human said, staring at her with a widened look.
Fox: I hear “widened look” and think someone’s stretching his face.
Alex is secretly putty.
Paulo: Perhaps the cheap kind, then, because he seems a rather faulty building material.
I meant like silly putty, dude.
He shook his head in defense as he tried to clear up this misunderstanding, “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong! That’s a misconception! I’m just…”
“I don’t believe you,” San snapped sharply as her hand went for her dagger. “Humans like you have been trying to take the life of Shisha Gami for years. Either for the power they believe they’ll gain, or for some other selfish reason. If you think that you can convince me that your intentions are different, you’re wrong,” Her eyes narrowed even more. “Because I’m not stupid, human!”
I’d deign to tell you otherwise. And that applies to Canon San and Sannabe both, because they’re both kind of equally dumb in their own regards, but at least Canon San is more understandably so.
“I never said you were!”
But I did!
Paulo: Unapologetically, even.
“Then don’t think you can slither your way out of this by lying to me!”
Sannabe, he’s a human, not a lamia.
Fox: A what?
“I’m not lying to you! I have no reason to,” the human shot back, “My life depends on finding Shisha Gami! You’ve got to believe me!
Honestly, having seen this curse in action, I’m pretty sure your life is only in danger as the plot demands it be.
Paulo: And considering the author… perhaps authors, it may well be the case.
I’m willing to believe that the curse crap is Stone-Man85. He’s so fucking crazy about it that he made a wiki for it, so some of this has to be his ideas in action.
Paulo: Fair enough.
Before San could open her mouth to respond, Kiba stepped beside her and growled for her to be silent, using his natural, wolf language.
What language would that be? “Growl woof bark?”
“What is it?” she asked mimicking her elder brother’s language perfectly.
Author, they didn’t speak in cryptic languages in the movie, everybody spoke in plain English. Or rather Japanese, but translated to English.
“Can’t you smell it, San?” Kiba asked looking towards the strangely dressed human.
The wolf-girl looked at her brother quizzically then sniffed in the human’s direction. When the boy’s scent touched her nose, her eyes widened slightly.
He smells like DOODY!
Fox: But is anyone surprised?
…No, not really.
“He smells…of wolf!” she said.
Oh right, he still has that fucking fur cloak that was never cleaned properly, he probably reeks now.
“No,” Tsume joined in after had had taken in the human’s scent. “It’s not of wolf… but it is remarkably similar to that of a spirit’s.”
San shared a quick glance with here two brothers as well as her silent mother, “How is that possible?” she asked.
The two wolves could not answer the question. This was beyond their experience.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it was Isaac. I feel like I remember him saying that he was a spirit – in the most confusing, stupid way possible.
“It’s doesn’t matter,” Moro said firmly, “Humans know of many different methods to fool our sense of smell. This one is probably using one of those methods. Look how he wears a cloak made from the skins of our kin.”
Pfft. Hi pot, I’m kettle.
Paulo: So it is all fair that San wears a wolf pelt, but Alex wearing one is offensive? Your logic is as transparent as your intentions.
“Uh, sorry for butting in, but please listen,” the human called out, “If I’m not welcome here, well, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. And if it makes any difference to you, I’ll leave right now.”
Were that it were so easy. We’re about to see why I called Moro genocidal.
San looked back at Moro, “Mother?”
The giant Wolf-God narrowed her large eyes and scowled deeply. “Kill him,” she said calmly. “It will be one less human to worry about in the future.”
Admittedly, I kind of misread this the first time as “one less human in the world,” but even knowing I made that mistake, it’s not hard to see that Moro is a lot more bloodthirsty than she was in the movie. Literally, when Ashitaka showed up, ask she did was glare at him, then San glared at him, then they told him to leave the forest and went off without another word after that. He was one human, like Alex, and they knew he couldn’t pose a threat as he was too then, so they were giving him a chance to get out before he got hurt.
Here? Moro sentenced Alex to die just because he’s human, despite that she has no reason to believe he’s a threat, and despite that he’s in no way involved with Irontown. This stands to reason that literally any human Moro sees – man, woman, elder or child – would receive the same response from her, and that somehow, San was the only exception. And, as I explained before, that kind of “kill them all even though only a few are guilty” mindset leads to genocide, so there you go, Moro is genocidal in this fic.
Somehow, two protagonists – in a movie where it’s hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the villains, even – have been turned into monsters. I don’t know which one I should put the blame on, here – N’jata or Stone-Man85?
Hearing this, Kiba and Tsume began to slowly make there way towards the Human, exposing their razor sharp fangs.
I’m pretty sure if the alpha – as it were – gave an order to kill, the responding betas would not be taking their time about it. But then again, Stone-Man85 doesn’t know how animals work, so.
“Hey, wait a minute!” the human said, obviously understanding what the two silvery wolves’ intentions were. “Can’t we talk about this?”
Fox: Didn’t you already try talking?
The growling beasts paid no attention to his plea and continued to advance towards the fallen tree where their prey was standing.
So this is looking bad for Alex, but great for us, right?
Got a question, though: Isaac is a fox-squirrel, isn’t he?
Paulo: I should assume so, he has clarified as such many times.
Well, get ready for some bullshit.
However, as soon as they had made it to the middle of the shallow river, they suddenly stopped moving as a louder roar was heard. Something shot up from behind Alex and landed right in front of him.
It was a huge wolf-like creature, somewhere around Kiba and Tsume’s height. Its body was very powerful as the hair’s on its back stood up, almost giving it the appearance of a mane. Its body was colored in brownish gold fur, with brown stripes on its body, a big fluffy tail resembling that of a foxes. Its mouth was showing off sharp and vicious teeth, as its big pointy ears were folded behind to show its vicious streak, and its eyes, all green with black dots to them, added to this creatures ferocity.
We’ll see the bullshit after the… appearance-porn, I guess we should call that.
“Oh great,” Alex muttered in dread, “Another killer dog that wants me as dinner.”
“Don’t worry, Alex,” the creature growled as it turned its attention back to Kiba and Tsume, “Your spiritual familiar and guide’s here to pull you out of the fire.”
Alex looked at the creature in confusion, wondering how it knew his name. but then, it hit him as he recognized the fur and the stripe pattern, and looked at the creature in surprise, “… Isaac?”
Fox: …Oh come on.
See? I told you it was bullshit.
It was perhaps the most terrifying and confusing minute Alex had had ever experienced. Isaac, now a gargantuan wolf creature, just stared and growled at the approaching wolves who stared back with looks of disbelief. None of the four animals made a sound as the growling stopped. Alex was at a total loss of words as he watched the silent exchange between the now-enlarged fox-squirrel and the large wolves. It was almost as though they were engaged in some sort of debate which only they could understand. The scene was very unsettling.
So Isaac pulls a Jacob, transforms into what I can only describe as a gross version of Kirara’s fuck-you form from Inuyasha –
– and then proceeds to have a staring contest instead of, you know, actually doing something.
Isaac the Big Damn Hero, ladies and gentlemen. Also, fuck you Isaac, Alex was about to die and we could have celebrated the early end of this shit.
After another minute of the silent exchange, Moro rose to her feet and began walking towards the forest. The two smaller wolves followed just a few paces behind her, one of which was dragging an entire ox carcass in its mouth.
Where the fuck did you get that? Did Isaac bring that ox along with him?
When the three carnivorous beast were gone,
Fox: Do we really need to be told that wolves are carnivores? I thought that was a given.
It is a given, either N’jata or Stone-Man85 was just thumping their thesaurus too hard to think about that.
only the girl was left. For a while, both could only stare at each other.
“It looks as though your friends had a change of heart,” Alex said, smiling slightly, relived to even be alive.
Paulo: You so recall that the girl is still armed, yes? Perhaps, then, speaking in jest at her expense would be ill-advised?
Yeah, seriously Alex, San could still off you right now, even with Isaac there.
The girl scowled at seeing him smile, “Don’t get the wrong idea, human,” she retorted with a biting tone.
Don’t worry,” Alex retorted as he weakly waved only once, “Ummm, by the way. In future reference, if we ever meet again, my name’s Alex…”
“I don’t care!” she spat, “This wasn’t an act of mercy, so don’t for a second think that you and I are on friendly terms, because we’re not!”
Alex gave the wolf-girl a lop-sided grin, “I guess this means that I can’t ask you out on a date?”
Alex, are you fucking stupid? You almost died, could possibly still end up dead, and you’re cracking wise? Fucking shut up, you assclown!
“Just stay out of my forest, human!” the girl shouted as she began to walk towards the spot along the trees where the three wolves had disappeared, “And pray we never see each other again. Because if our paths ever cross again, I’ll rip the tubes from your neck!”
The audience is rooting for you, Sannabe.
Alex watched the girl run towards the trees when he suddenly remembered something. “Hey wait a minute!” he called out.
The wolf girl stopped and looked back at him. “What?” she asked, still scowling.
“This dagger wouldn’t happen to be yours, would it?” Alex produced the strange weapon he had been carrying around in his supply sack and held it high in the air, “I’d be happy to give it back, if you want it.”
Fox: Yeah, stupid, give her more weapons to kill you with, that won’t blow up in your face later.
For a moment, all the girl could do was stare at the young outlander with a confused looked. Finally, breaking the uncomfortable silence between them, she spoke., “Do what you want with it, human,” she replied, no less hostile in tone than she had been just moments before. “It makes no difference to me. You can piss on it for all I care.”
Paulo: That is not proper weapons maintenance.
Thank goodness it’s made of bone so it won’t hurt it any.
Just as she was about to turn her back and leave, there was a sharp clang of metal hitting and scraping against the rocks. When she looked down she saw the dagger lying flat against the ground, just inches from her feet. She jerked her head upwards to meet Alex’s gentle smile.
…San’s dagger is not metal, fuckface. There isn’t even the possibility of her getting her hands on weapons-grade metal, because it’s reserved for military use primarily, and she certainly wouldn’t know how to craft a knife with it because she has no forging experience. Don’t bullshit me.
“Thank you very much, but I have a little more respect for women than that,” said Alex.
I find that very hard to believe, especially considering that you just ignored her response of “keep it.” And besides that, your only motivation for giving a damn is because your damn aunt said she was sexy and had nice tits back in chapter one.
He then crossed his arms and chuckled. “Besides, I already have my own blade.”
Paulo: I speak as a knight who has seen many battles: one blade is not enough. That dagger would have aided you in future struggles, and you have just thrown it away. You would never graduate from Pagehood in Revelm’s military.
I’m pretty sure Specs could have said the exact same thing, and he only ever fights with one sword. Of course, his line of reasoning is that he’s got enough experience to not have to worry about needing a second weapon.
Fox: Dude, even with Vysek on my belt, I still have like ten other knives on my person, should I need them. And every other Fox is loaded with so many weapons, seen and unseen, that a magnetic force could crush them if placed close enough.
Hell, even I keep three guns and laser vision handy, and all I ever deal with is the DRD. Hope you like being disarmed and sent to an early grave, Alex.
The wolf-girl bent down and retrieved the weapon from the ground and slipped it under her sash, not once taking her eyes off the young outlander. When she stood she sniffed curtly at the air and darted off into the forest.
As Alex watched her leave he couldn’t help but grin broadly. Not only had he the privilege to encounter what may very well had been the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, but he was still alive to appreciate it. “I’ll be seeing you around…” he whispered, the girl’s every fine feature fresh in his memory, “… Princess of the wolves.”
Oh, just fucking die already, we all hate you.
Next Chapter: The Realms of Wolves and Demons; Final Destination Iron Town
That chapter name was almost okay. But then it wasn’t.
And, true to my word, I have finally finished this fuck-off chapter! It took me the whole week to do it, but I did!
Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next chapter! It can only go downhill from here. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Fox and Sir Paulo Rori, I’ll see you next time!
…So, how long before the guys you stole Vysek from come looking for you?
Fox: Oh, I imagine they already are.
Paulo: As well they should be, if that sword is as powerful as claimed.
Vysek’s blade charges up with magical energy while in the sheath, and can fire that energy like a laser cannon when drawn and in use. It has the strength to cut through stone and metal like butter.
Paulo: Then I would very much be looking for the culprit. That kind of weapon is far too dangerous for a common thief.
Fox: Hey, whoa, back up. Treasure Hunter. Not thief. Let’s not go confusing the two, okay?
…No, you’re pretty much a thief.
Fox: Shit, I can’t get any support from the other Foxes OR YOU?!
I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ve just implied.